The anatomy of the deep infrapatellar bursa of the knee

Am J Sports Med. 1998 Jan-Feb;26(1):129-32. doi: 10.1177/03635465980260010501.


Disorders of the deep infrapatellar bursa are important to include in the differential diagnosis of anterior knee pain. Knowledge regarding its anatomic location can aid the clinician in establishing a proper diagnosis. Fifty cadaveric knees were dissected, and the deep infrapatellar bursa had a consistent anatomic location in all specimens. The deep infrapatellar bursa was located directly posterior to the distal 38% of the patellar tendon, just proximal to its insertion on the tibial tubercle. There was no communication to the knee joint. Its average width at the most proximal margin of the tibial tubercle was slightly wider than the average distal width of the patellar tendon. It was found to be partially compartmentalized, with a fat pad apron extending down from the retropatellar fat pad to partially divide it into anterior and posterior compartments. The recommended approach to this bursa, either for aspiration, injection, or surgery, is along the lateral edge of the patellar tendon just proximal to the tibial tubercle.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bursa, Synovial / anatomy & histology*
  • Cadaver
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / anatomy & histology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged